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Steelers' DeAngelo Williams Rips Goodell Over Handling Of Vontaze Burfict

By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams has occasionally grabbed headlines in recent years for speaking out against the Patriots - or, in some cases, just outright trolling all of New England. But this time, he's joining New England in its distaste for Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict.

Hit with a $75,000 fine for stepping on the foot of the Patriots' LeGarrette Blount in last Sunday's 35-17 loss to the Patriots, Burfict avoided a suspension despite being a repeat offender of dirty plays. He also dove at the leg of Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett in the game but was only fined for the incident with Blount. It was only Burfict's third game of the season after sitting out the first three games due to a suspension for repeated violations of player safety rules.

Burfict's three-game suspension stemmed from a hit to the head of Williams' Steelers teammate Antonio Brown in the 2015 AFC Wild Card game. Williams has also spoken out against Roger Goodell and the NFL league offices in the past, and took to Twitter for another tirade against the commissioner and a league that has been, at best, inconsistent when it comes to handling issues with player safety.

Williams is also your classic "engage the trolls" kind of pro athlete. He snapped back at some tweeters who busted out some classic internet argument tactics like technicalities, ad hominem, and the ever-popular straw man. He won't exactly win Patriots fans over with this rant, but he showed that he's not afraid to go after the league when he feels they've made a mistake.

It was surprising to see the NFL go relatively softly on Burfict. Even if you're willing to accept that football is an inherently violent game and players have to accept that there will be some consequences for their long-term health and well-being if they play it professionally. But Burfict simply crosses the line and does things that have no place in the game, and Williams was not afraid to speak up and say what many others are already thinking.

The league may appear to care about player safety, but the way they handle Burfict is just one example of why it's mostly just a charade.

Matt Dolloff is a writer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at

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